Swinney wins award against backdrop of expenses row

North Tayside MSP John Swinney was named Scottish Politician of the Year at a ceremony in Edinburgh last night.  

Mr Swinney

Mr Swinney, who is the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, received the award for his role in dealing with the financial crisis and for delivering a council tax freeze.

As he accepted the award he heaped praise on his colleagues.  

“I think this is one of the things that is so important about the way we take our decisions, is that we do that in a way in which we support each other as a cabinet and as a team of ministers” he said. 

“For me that is the most precious thing about serving in the SNP government – that spirit of working together, of mutual support and working together to make sure our government delivers for the people of Scotland.”

The award has drawn criticism in light of recent revelations about MSP’s expenses.

Mark Wallace, campaign director of the Taxpayer’s Alliance, says that the awards are a joke.

“It seems all too often that politicians don’t realise how deep the recession is and how angry the public are. There is no excuse for holding glitzy awards ceremonies while people can’t pay their bills.” he said.

“Politicians need to be  more restrained, modest and humble, especially given the dire experiences of their constituents.”

Mr Swinney was unavailable for comment.